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Unread 02-11-2016, 06:28 PM   #1
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Water Behind Marble Shower Wall Tiles

First time home owner here dealing with our first real problem: A leaky shower valve that resulted in water or moisture behind the shower wall tiles that results in a visible dark spot on the wall tiles that expands downwards towards the shower pan.

We hired a shower/tile guy to rip out our old shower/tub combo and build a brand new stand up shower. He used the black construction paper nailed to studs as the moisture barrier on the walls and a thick plastic shower pan liner that goes up the wall about 18inches. I do not remember if he did a pre-slope before laying down the plastic liner but he for sure used dry pack. Over the moisture barrier the guy used cement board and then thinset/tile/grout. I sealed everything myself using dupont stonetech sealer. Not sure if any of this is relevant to my issue.

We used the shower for about 10 days before noticing the marble tile around the shower valve slowly getting darker and darker. I initially thought that water was getting into the walls through cracks in the grout so I fixed all visible cracks and continued to use the shower. The dark spot progressively got bigger over the next few days. Last week I removed the plate that covers the shower valve and noticed moisture in and around the valve. I cut the drywall on the opposite side of the shower valve wall and confirmed that there is no moisture behind the black construction paper BUT the paper appears to be warped as if it’s saturated with water. As a test, I turned on the water and could see water slowly dripping from the top of the shower valve as if the pipe leading to the shower head was not properly soldered. We currently have the wall open and drying. A plumber is scheduled to fix the leak in a few days. We are not using the shower in the meantime.

My problem is that the moisture spots on the marble tiles are not going away after drying for 4 days with the fan on. I understand that it’s most likely a difficult spot to dry out. Is there anything I can do to fix the problem? Shouldn’t the water be moving down the walls and into the pan, eventually draining out of the weep holes? Does a dark area caused by moisture on shower walls indicate that there’s a mini pool of water somehow trapped on a vertical surface?

I have a dehumidifier on the way and I’ll throw it into the shower stall. Hopefully that will help.

I’ll upload pics when I get home
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Unread 02-11-2016, 07:56 PM   #2
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Hi K, welcome. Sounds like the cement board and marble are saturated in that area. It can take several weeks to dry out. A dehumidifier will help.

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